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Bath Planet Recaps Product Line

In Bathroom Remodeling on March 4, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Bath PlanetBath Planet’s parent company BCI Acrylic Inc. has been producing high quality bathroom products since 1999. Over the years, the company has added a number of innovative designs and products to its lineup. Today, we talk with Bath Planet design consultants who explain the many bathroom solutions available nationwide.

Presentation Solutions: Thank you for joining us. Could you tell us a little about Bath Planet for our readers who may not be familiar with the company?

Bath Planet: Certainly! We are a bathroom remodeling company specializing in acrylic bath and shower systems.

Presentation Solutions: What are the benefits of choosing a replacement tub as opposed to painting over an existing unit?

Bath Planet: Re-glazing is barely a temporary fix. These do-it-yourself paints don’t usually last and can wind up making the bathroom look worse in the long run, meaning the homeowner eventually replaces the tub anyway.

Presentation Solutions: Tell us about step-through inserts…

Bath Planet: Inserts are an affordable way to turn your bathtub into an easily accessible walk-in shower.

Presentation Solutions:  Speaking of showers, we understand it’s possible to convert an existing tub area into an expansive and functional shower, is that right?

Bath Planet: That’s absolutely correct. Our tub-to-shower conversions can transform a bathtub in as little as a day. They are a great option for those with mobility limitations.

Presentation Solutions: Bath Planet offers additional accessibility products as well, correct?

Bath Planet: That’s right. Our walk-in tubs are one example. Walk-in bathtubs have high sidewalls and feature a built in seat and relaxing jets.

Presentation Solutions: How are these different from step through inserts?

Bath Planet: Step-through inserts are not designed to hold water. Walk-in tubs, however, are sealed tight, allowing homeowners with limited mobility the freedom to continue taking baths independently.

Presentation Solutions: What about walls?

Bath Planet: We have a huge variety of bath and shower surrounds to match our bathroom solution products.

Presentation Solutions: And textures? Are homeowners limited to smooth walls or faux 4 x 4 tiles?

Bath Planet: While we do offer both of those as an option, currently, we have 10 different wall patterns and 19 unique colors available.

Presentation Solutions: That sounds like Bath Planet remodels are very customizable…

Bath Planet: They are; in fact, most of our bath and shower products are built for the specific bathroom we’re working in. We also have a catalog of accessories to enhance the finished look.

Presentation Solutions: You mean you don’t just pull a product off a warehouse shelf?

Bath Planet: No, BCI Acrylics manufactures most of what we sell and molds a custom acrylic bath or shower based on precise measurements and specifications that are taken by our design consultants.

Presentation Solutions: That sounds very different from the products available at most hardware stores.

Bath Planet: It is, yes. The main difference being that our products are made from a much thicker acrylic and are installed by professional and certified technicians.

Presentation Solutions: That certainly explains Bath Planet’s amazing warranty. Can you summarize that for our audience?

Bath Planet: We offer a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. And, we are backed by Good Housekeeping, which offers customers an additional two-year limited warranty.

Presentation Solutions: How can our readers find out more?

Bath Planet: Our website, BathPlanet.com, is full of useful information including current specials and a photo gallery showcasing our products and services.

Big Data Proves Beneficial for Small Business Owners, According to Harris Interactive Study

In Business on November 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

Technology-SavvyIn today’s global business world, it’s essential for small companies to be technologically savvy and up-to-date on the newest trends in order to remain relevant and stay competitive. Data analysis has become an increasingly powerful tool that helps CEOs and top executives make key decisions and offer more educated predictions about their company’s future. Data can allow these leaders to adjust marketing strategies, control inventories, establish target markets and boost sales.

Small businesses have a wealth of information in their hands including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and sales receipts. The term “big data” is popular among businesses, used to describe the availability and exponential growth of data, both unstructured and structured.

According to the results of a new Harris Interactive study, big data was shown to have a wide range of definitions including:

  • The requirements to archive and store data for the purposes of regulatory compliance
  • The emergence of new and improved data sources, including mobile devices, social media and machine-generated devices
  • Challenges associated with big data
  • The significant growth and development of transaction data

The same survey suggests the top competitive advantages gained by using big data include:

  • Increasing sales (54 percent)
  • Retaining and attracting customers (46 percent)
  • Reducing IT costs (50 percent)
  • Improving efficiency of internal business operations (59 percent)
  • Becoming more flexible and agile (48 percent)

Most importantly, 76 percent of small business owners say Big Data is an enormous opportunity for their executives and employees. Over 70 percent believe that a return on investment occurs within 12 months. Data brokers like DataLogix, Kaggle and Acxiom can offer businesses valuable data analysis that shares informative insight into a company’s current activities.

Zillow Acquires Trulia for $3.5 Billion

In Business on September 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

Zillow-TruliaShares of nation’s leading real estate site jump 12% since announcement of merger.

Zillow and Trulia are unquestionably the two most popular research sites for people looking to buy, sell, or lease a new home. Combined, the two companies attract over 130 million unique visitors each month.

Both sites garner heavy attention from real estate agents looking for the most exposure of their listings. Some of the nation’s largest brokers spend upwards of $20,000 per month on the sites. And though the two companies take in hundreds of millions of dollars annually, their revenues are only a fraction of the $12 billion that real estate professionals spend on marketing each year.

Mobile homes

Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, says that real estate marketing has gone mobile. It’s no secret that on-the-go information has been one of the best tools for realtors. Both sites offer phone-friendly, detailed information on their listings. Trulia and its now-parent company have completely transformed the real estate market over the last decade. Today, buyers can access information that was once only available to a real estate broker.

Brokers irrelevant to future of real estate?

The age of information has made it easier than ever to buy a home without the assistance of a licensed real estate agent. Many brokers fear that mergers such as this will completely eliminate their jobs. Other sites, such as homes.com and realtor.com, employ many of the same marketing methods as Zillow and charge a premium price for listings. Agents who list their properties with these companies may be the only ones that survived the mobile marketing revolution.

Trulia and Zillow offer specialist tools that the home seeker can use to enhance their buying experience. From interactive maps to instant home estimates, real estate websites such as these will continue to change how people buy and sell real property.

 

U.S. Music Industry Sees Large Uptick in Revenue from Streaming Music Services

In Business on June 13, 2014 at 3:07 am

In 2013, overall music sales were flat compared with the previous year. But despite treading water, many music industry professionals were expressing optimism about streaming services and other forms of revenue.

In a report issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the future of the music industry was laid bare. The revenue from streaming music services grew markedly in 2013, with a 39 percent increase from 2012. Streaming music services like Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM and Spotify have combined for more than $1.4 billion in total revenue.

The number of online consumers who have subscribed to these streaming services totaled 6.1 million in 2013, a considerable increase from 3.4 million the previous year. These impressive numbers do not include Beats, a new subscription-based streaming services that opened in late 2013.

In 2013, performance royalties paid to record labels and artists by SoundExchange increased nearly 30 percent to a total of $590 million. SoundExchange represents about half of U.S. streaming music revenue. Over 2,400 services in digital radio currently use SoundExchange for their daily operations.

As digital radio royalties become an even more prominent entity in the music ecosystem, labels and recording artists are concerned about their bottom lines. While music streaming continues to experience steady growth, overall revenue slipped from $7.01 billion in 2012 to $6.99 billion in 2013. Overall revenue has hovered around the $7 billion mark each year since 2009. The industry experienced revenue of $8.8 billion in 2008.

If these streaming services can convert an appropriate amount of free users into paid subscribers, record companies, record labels and artists may finally reap the benefits of the new Internet age. A premium subscriber to Google, Rdio or Spotify’s streaming service is paying approximately $120 each year on their music. That amounts to between 10 and 12 full-length albums.

Investment Returns Boosted by Tracking Brain Waves of Skilled Traders?

In Business on June 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

Sang Lucci Partners Capital has veered off the beaten path by temporarily booting its best traders off Wall Street. A group of the firm’s most talented traders was sent to Los Angeles in May to have their brain waves tracked by scientists as they participated in simulated day of buying and selling.

Twenty six traders took part in the company’s most recent experiment, which was sponsored in-part by TruBrain, a company that formulates nutritional supplements to improve brain function. While the results of the testing are not yet conclusive, TruBrain creators say that supplement’s active ingredients are proven to increase brain performance without the need for harsh stimulants.

The hope is that following the brain patterns of traders under normal working conditions will allow researchers to track when they are at their peak performance and if a dietary change will increase positive results. Test administrators are optimistic; others believe that the brain may benefit even better from having a small “break” before working. Lenox Hospital’s Dr. Robert Graham, who has no affiliation with San Lucci or TruBrain, says the test can show changes in the brain but not necessarily if it’s working smarter or not. He explains that slowing things down is as effective as speeding things up and believes calming down the senses before stress heightens the brains function without the risks associated with caffeine or other chemicals.

Although Sang Lucci is a small hedge fund by comparison, founder Anand Sanghvi has made headlines more than once for his unconventional wisdom and willingness to buck tradition. Sangvhi and Sang Lucci trainer Haim Bodek, a cognitive sciences major, operate the firm as though through a glass office. Sang Lucci Tweets their Profit and Loss daily and reports all activities to a University of Notre Dame professor, who is researching issues within the stock market structure.

James Cullem Explains Role of Chief Counsel in an Early-Stage Technology Company

In Business on May 29, 2014 at 4:01 am

James CullemAccording to biotech patent attorney and two-former Chief Counsel James Cullem, an early-stage technology company can only reach its maximum potential with the assistance of a talented and proactive Chief Counsel.

Presentation Solutions: We appreciate you calling in this afternoon. Welcome!

James Cullem: My pleasure.

Presentation Solutions: Let’s talk a little bit about the role of Chief Counsel. What specific company titles does the Chief Counsel typically carry?

James Cullem: The names may change – In-House Counsel, Senior Counsel, General Counsel, Chief I.P. Counsel, Chief Patent Counsel – but the duties generally remain the same. This highly skilled and proficient individual oversees important legal issues and activities related to the company’s overall operations.  In the case of a Chief Counsel who is also a Registered Patent Attorney, that individual will also directly oversee and manage the company’s strategic intellectual property (I.P.) activities, including development and exploitation of worldwide patent and trademark portfolios.

Presentation Solutions: What is the primary focus of the Chief Counsel in an early stage technology company?

James Cullem: The Chief Counsel at an early-stage company is typically tasked with handling a broad array of legal issues common to an early-stage enterprise:  employment policies and contracts; intellectual property asset issues (patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secret, license and collaboration agreements); corporate governance and finance issues; real estate matters; dispute resolution; and the like.

Presentation Solutions: How might the Chief Counsel interact with and manage outside counsels?

James Cullem: The in-house Chief Counsel will typically have their own area of legal specialization, such as I.P. (requiring a Registered Patent Attorney), or employment law, or corporate governance and finance, etc.   As such, the Chief Counsel may directly handle matters within their area of specialization, while retaining outside counsel (law firms) to handle other subject matter areas.  Dispute resolution (i.e. active litigation and pre-litigation dispute matters) always require the assistance of outside counsel.  In all situations, the Chief Counsel is responsible for overseeing and managing the efforts of retained outside counsel, to ensure that the best interests and needs of the company are being efficiently met.

Presentation Solutions: Does the Chief Counsel require any special certification?

James Cullem: Any in-house Counsel must be a licensed attorney, which means (here in the U.S.) that they have graduated with a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree and have passed the Bar exam to become licensed as an attorney in at least one state.  Additionally, if the Chief Counsel is also a Registered Patent Attorney, it means that they have passed the difficult, speciality Patent Bar exam and have a suitable technical/scientific background required for their area of specialization (e.g. medical devices, proteomics, small-molecule therapeutics, etc.).

Presentation Solutions: Can you explain the reasoning behind this requirement?

James Cullem: Many legal issues – for example, shareholder, contractual, and/or real estate rights – are completely controlled by the laws and regulations of the particular state in which the company sits. Accordingly, fluency in those state-specific laws will be crucial in making the right decisions to guide the company.  Other legal areas, such as patent laws and maritime laws, are centrally governed by Federal Laws, and thus are not state-specific and do not require specific state credentials.

Presentation Solutions: What are the leading qualities of a quality Chief Counsel candidate, in your opinion?

James Cullem: A longtime attorney with a diversity of interests and experiences is often the best bet. Specialists, on the other hand, should generally be avoided, unless the activities and challenges facing the company are focused in a particular area.  For example, a biotechnology company that has robust R&D activities generating novel inventions and products that are essential to competitive advantage would benefit from a Chief Counsel that is also a registered biotech Patent Attorney.  A real estate management company, as another example, would obviously benefit from a Chief Counsel with real estate law specialization, even though that person might also oversee other matters, such as contracts, employment matters, and corporate governance.

Presentation Solutions: With whom does the Chief Counsel collaborate on a daily basis?

James Cullem: The Chief Counsel will work closely with executive management of the company, as well as all Department Heads and with inventors within the R&D groups of the company.  He/she will also works directly and regularly with a number of other outside counsels/attorneys who can offer guidance in litigation, taxes, financial matters and other core subject areas.

Presentation Solutions: This has been a highly informative chat. Thank you for the insight!

James Cullem: You’re most welcome. I hope this information will be of assistance to your readers.

As an accomplished veteran of the biotechnology industry, James Cullem continues to share his expertise with members of the legal and biotechnology communities.

New Study Shows How Business Marketers Conduct Lead Generation Activities

In Business on May 8, 2014 at 6:32 am

leadsA survey by Demand Metric and Salefusion has found that many mid-sized and small businesses have maintained lead generation processes.

The survey indicates that the most popular approaches for generating business leads are content marketing (67 percent), event or tradeshow marketing (73 percent) and email marketing (78 percent).

The survey’s author indicate that lead generation is perhaps the most significant point of contention between sales and marketing departments. The goal of this study was to better comprehend the successes and failures of marketers in light of today’s latest technological advances. Given the constant pressure of marketing departments to produce quality leads, the lead generation process must be effective.

Approximately 60 percent of businesses whose leads have been stored in marketing automation systems or CRM said that their processes for lead generation are highly or moderately effective. Meanwhile, less than 50 percent of businesses that store leads in email folders, in-house databases and spreadsheets report a similar level of effectiveness in their lead generation process.

Marketing automation systems and CRM offer sales and marketing with the necessary tools for improving, measuring and executing lead generation. According to the survey, marketers are searching for ways to identify leads. As the demand for marketing data continues to grow, more efficient tools will be increasingly important.

A few other statistics outline the unique challenges and opportunities of business marketers in their quest to improve their customer portfolio.

  • At 70 percent, content marketing is the lead generation tactic expected to see the greatest increase.
  • Event and tradeshow marketing have experienced the largest decrease in investment (40 percent).
  • The most popular lead storage units are CRM systems (45 percent) and spreadsheets (17 percent).
  • Web forms (73 percent) and data entry (66 percent) were considered the most common method for capturing business leads.
  • Only 16 percent of respondents who used marketing automation systems or CRM says they held no standard for lead quality.

Weathershield Reviews Point to Promising Future

In Business on April 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

Weathershield ReviewsWeathershield is one of the leading US manufacturers of new construction and home remodeling window and door products. Looking back on its 59 year history, Weathershield reviews how a healthy respect for its past has helped the company position itself in the present for a better future. Today, we have invited the company to share how this insight has led to new product lines and a renewed commitment to quality products.

Presentation Solutions: Thank you for joining us today.

Weathershield Reviews Team: It’s an honor.

Presentation Solutions: I guess we should start at the beginning. Tell us about Weathershield’s early days.

Weathershield Reviews Team: We were founded in 1955 by Edward Schield. “Lee,” as he liked to call himself, was a hard-working man who saw a need in Central Wisconsin for attractive and durable storm windows.

Presentation Solutions: So the company did not always make complete windows?

Weathershield Reviews Team: In the very early days it was just Lee and his truck handcrafting extruded aluminum storm windows. But people began to see the quality of his storms and begin asking for windows.

Presentation Solutions: How did the business expand?

Weathershield Reviews Team: Lee started by calling contractors and showing them what he had to offer. It did not take long for his business to grow.

Presentation Solutions: We understand this is still a family company. Is that correct?

Weathershield Reviews Team: Yes, we are at two generations now of Schield family active in the daily operations of the business.

Presentation Solutions: Tell us about your company’s involvement in the local community.

Weathershield Reviews Team: Fifteen years ago company executives along with long-time employees started the LITE Foundation, which is a community program that shares gifts to people looking to help themselves. Through the program, management at Weathershield reviews total employee contributions and matches them to further expand our reach.

Presentation Solutions: How did this program get started?

Weathershield Reviews Team: The Schield family has always been involved in their community and remain guided by biblical teachings.

Presentation Solutions: It sounds like this harkens back to Matthew 25:40 “What you do to the least of my brothers, that you do to me.”

Weathershield Reviews Team: Exactly. But of course, without a strong sense of business and exceptional products we would not be able to do the things we do. That is why Weathershield reviews its business practices often to ensure a dedicated, ethical, and strong group of employees.

Presentation Solutions: What do you consider the core of your business?

Weathershield Reviews Team: Customer service is our top priority. This means giving our customers the best products at a competitive price and always having people on the other end of the phone to help when it is needed.

Presentation Solutions: Are all of your products custom-crafted?

Weathershield Reviews Team: All of our products were designed and are manufactured by industry experts. We have an extensive and extremely innovative product offering. Each of our product lines – including three recent launches, Aspire, Premium, and Signature – use only premium materials.

Presentation Solutions: How are these lines different from one another?

Weathershield Reviews Team: They’re made with different materials for different budgets. We have everything from basic vinyl clad wood windows to architectural grade products.

Presentation Solutions: If you had to sum up the reasons why a homeowner would choose Weathershield over another brand, what would you say?

Weathershield Reviews Team: We offer more value per dollar than any other window manufacturer. Our experienced and knowledgeable customer care and field service support teams are second to none. Additionally, we offer architectural support and continuing education for dealers. We manufacture in a way that is environmentally responsible and we create hundreds of jobs right here in America.

Presentation Solutions: How would you say that Weathershield’s company history has dictated its business practices today?

Weathershield Reviews Team: Lee Schield had to work hard to make it in such a competitive industry. We have never lost sight of this and know that in order to maintain our current customers and attract future clients we have to stay on top of every aspect of the window buying experience.

Presentation Solutions: We certainly appreciate your time today but we have to close.

Weathershield Reviews Team: Thank you for asking us here.

Weathershield employs a highly skilled team of research and development professionals who continually strive to offer the most beautifully crafted and technologically advanced window and patio door products on the market. Weathershield constantly reviews the demands of homeowners and continues to evolve to meet those needs and more. For additional information, log on to weathershield.com.

Sandra Dyche Kim Explains US Port Redevelopment Efforts

In Business on December 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

Sandra Dyche KimSandra Dyche Kim works closely with the EB-5 program, which helps immigrants gain visas by allowing them to invest in U.S. industry. With such a close relationship to the influx of immigrants, Sandra Dyche Kim has followed the recent redevelopments to American ports, noting the impact they will have on the American economy. Sandra Dyche Kim spoke to Presentation Solutions about these port redevelopments and how they’ll influence the movement of freight into the United States.

Presentation Solutions: Could you explain what a port is and how it impacts the economy?

Sandra Dyche Kim: In America, ports facilitate the transport of goods in and out of the United States. There are currently 360 commercial ports in this country.

Presentation Solutions: Why are some ports in need of redevelopment?

Sandra Dyche Kim: Over time, some of these ports have become incredibly outdated and therefore unable to handle the workload presented to them on a daily basis. Many of the larger carriers are now choosing to work with the same few ports, leaving other ports abandoned. These ports are redeveloping in the hopes of competing with these more successful ports.

Presentation Solutions: What types of changes are they making as part of this redevelopment?

Sandra Dyche Kim: It varies from port to port, but many are taking in-depth looks at their dock structures and berths, as well as making improvements to the points where they connect to other transportation mechanisms, such as trains and interstates.

Presentation Solutions: How will these redevelopments be funded?

Sandra Dyche Kim: Many of these ports rely on government funding, but there can be issues with this type of financing.

Presentation Solutions: Such as?

Sandra Dyche Kim: Shipping companies might end up taking on the risk of these investments, and if that happens, they might end up overinvesting in ports for their use. In the end, the brunt of the cost may end up going to the public.

Presentation Solutions: What is the alternative?

Sandra Dyche Kim: Many of these redevelopment efforts may end up being funded by project-based financing, with the cost going to private companies rather than the government.

Prior to her work with CapSpan, Sandra Dyche Kim was owner and chair of Hasca of America, which dealt in ceramics, as well as high-tech abrasives. She’s also worked in banking and finance, giving her a well-rounded view of the investment process.

Lindsay Rosenwald on Abiraterone and the Acquisition of Cougar Biotechnology

In Business, General, Technology on September 26, 2013 at 6:34 am

Lindsay RosenwaldLindsay Rosenwald is a medical doctor and finance expert who specializes in investing in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical research. Lindsay Rosenwald founded Cougar Biotechnology to continue research and development on abiraterone acetate, a drug that combats hormone-resistant prostate cancer. Johnson & Johnson acquired the company in 2009.

Drug development

Development on abiraterone acetate first began in the 1990s, recalls Lindsay Rosenwald. The drug was reviewed by a number of medical investment firms who declined participation. Lab results eventually ended up on the desk of Lindsay Rosenwald, and Cougar Biotechnology then purchased production rights for approximately $500,000.

According to Lindsay Rosenwald, abiraterone acetate enjoyed unparalleled success in its first clinical trials in 2004. The drug proved to induce a decline in prostate-specific antigen levels in patients who had received chemotherapy but were refractory to it. Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald further explains that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug after an extremely successful phase 3 clinical study. During the study, the results in the control group were so profound that the trial was halted and placebo participants were given the drug, reports Lindsay Rosenwald.

Abiraterone is an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor (ABI) that directly affects the androgen biosynthesis pathway by inhibiting CYP17 (17α-hydroxylase/C17, 20-lyase). Consequently, androgen biosynthesis is inhibited at 3 sources of testosterone production: the testes, adrenal glands, and prostate tumor tissue. Androgen biosynthesis inhibition results in decreased levels of serum testosterone and other androgens. Androgen-deprivation therapies—such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs or orchiectomy—decrease androgen production in the testes, but do not affect androgen production by the adrenal glands or in the tumor.

As Lindsay Rosenwald reports, abiraterone was approved under the brand name Zytiga and released in April 2011. Zytiga’s approval came after clinical studies of nearly 1,200 late-stage prostate cancer patients showed the overall survival rate was significantly extended after taking the drug, says Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald.

Company acquisition

Lindsay Rosenwald reports that in July 2009, Johnson & Johnson completed its acquisition of Cougar Biotechnology. The acquisition took place after Johnson & Johnson purchased approximately 20,150,000 shares of Cougar Biotechnology stock through a short-form merger.

Johnson & Johnson spent approximately $1 billion to procure Cougar Biotechnology. At the time, Lindsay Rosenwald reports that Cougar Biotechnology was in the process of conducting Phase III clinical trials for abiraterone acetate.

Today, Cougar Biotechnology operates as a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and works alongside Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development. Lindsay Rosenwald reports that Ortho Biotech is also a Johnson & Johnson company and operates under the umbrella of Centocor Research & Development.

The future of abiraterone

Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald reports that abiraterone acetate may also be indicated to treat advanced breast cancer. Studies performed at the University of London’s Institute of Cancer Research have shown promising results. According to the Institute of Cancer Research website, abiraterone acetate may be most useful for women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, says Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald.

Lindsay Rosenwald reports that Zytiga is slated to become a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical in the coming years and is proud to have been a pioneer of its success. Thousands of lives have been prolonged thanks to the drug, and Lindsay Rosenwald believes that many more will be prolonged or saved in the future.

Cougar Biotechnology was founded to focus on finding medical assets with considerable intrinsic value, says Lindsay Rosenwald. The company achieved its goal by offering a notable new alternative in advanced oncological medication.